11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Can i just start off by saying the colony club is GREAT! My family and I had a great time!
Beach - Private, the sand is so soft and you can literally walk for as far as you can see on both sides of the beach. We had a wonderful time walking along the beach to the Lone Star Restaurant for lunch but be careful because we forgot about the tide and came into the restauraunt dripping wet! Sunday Lunch at the Lone Star is quite 'respectable' should we say too. Just to the left of the hotel is the coral reef which is lovely to see al kinds of fish.
Loungers - there are lots of loungers with their own parasols and i love the great big thick cushions not plastic ones that your bum keeps slipping through here!
Watersports - most watersports are free such as going sailing with one of many of the trained men, banana boats, doghnughts and you get a free scuba diving tester lesson in the pool on request if your not ready for the big ocean! Foam things for the pool available here for a bit of fun. Good floaties to rest on when bobbing ion the sea
Restauraunts - The orchid is restricted to adults only and is fine dining in the evening. There is of course a pool side bar that you can either swim up to or walk up to. It is located in between the Sun Deck restaurant lunch area and one of the pools. The Sun Deck is just for lunch which is great because it is inbetween the beach and the pool bar. The decked area makes it perfect for you to jump out of the water get quickly dreid off and relax onto the soft cushions under a parasol. The food at the sun deck ranges from hotdogs to caeser salads and delicious pan fried fish. A lovely break from the busy day relaxing. The lagoona restaurant is for breakfast and lunch for those who prefer to eat undercover and not in swimwear and sarrongs. The lagoona is great for breakfast a huge buffet with everything you could think of plus a chef to do your requirements of omlettes and more. Fresh fruit, smoked salmon, full english breakfast. You name it they've got it! But i do have to warn that the lagoona for an evening meal is quiet and the food is not as delicous as the many restaurants a mere 5-10 minutes away.
Rooms - these rooms have newly been refurbished unfortunately i have not yet returned to see them but know many that have and been graciously surprised in the vast improvement. Not returning is not out of choice as i can't wait to return! Rooms are available with private pools and great ocean view. Sofa beds available in the larger suites. But these beds are can be put in a smaller ajoining room usually used as a lounge so the people staying in there conserve an amount of privacy. This room has its own doors to the lovely patio and walk in wardrobe in the hallway outside. Fridge, tv's and dressing tables also in each room. Safe obviously provided.
Shops - beware the shop assistant does seem to close up early as i noticed when i had a sudden chocolate craving. This shop offers a small amount of swimwear, chocolate and crisps and other travel nessecities like shampoo, lotion , beach bags and lovely ornaments. This is air conditioned of course. There is another shop that sells ornamentas and glassware plus rings and some jewellery if your thinking about popping the question on the spur of the moment.
Staff - i have never met friendlier people. They are great. From the doorman who gets you a taxi and truly shows an interest in how he can help to the barman who remembers your order it is great personnal service. I find the watersports people great too who teach you to sail
Non staff people - A selected few are allowed on the beach to hairbraid , sell jewellery and more wtaersports like jet skis. But the watersports staff are htere and if you say No they do go away. They are not allowed off the beach near any rooms or the Sun Deck either which i find reassuring. My favourites are DR.Cool and Handy Andy. Handy Andy makes lovely figurines out of palm leaves and coconuts and Dr.cool
is the man to go to for Aloe Vera. I get bitten by mosquiotes so much Dr.cool gave me the Aloe Vera plant to keep in ma fridge and how it helped! Plus for Sunburn too. It is the whole atmosphere that is great.
Activities outside the hotel - Swim with the Turtles,.... ask for Mark the Shark on the beach and he will have a quaint glass bottom boat with sun deck not full on fantasy but he knows everything about this and gives the best service. Plus free fish to feed the turtles so you aren't like everyone else who is helplessly waving bread from Breakfast although if you can steal a bit of bread it does go nice with the fish! Try not to go on the large catamarans with everyone else on one of the organized visits as you will never get near and scare most of the turtles away. Bring your own Snorkle to help renting one at the watersports shack because although they are of good quality who knows whoose mounth has been on the end of it! if you know what i mean. One of my greatest memories is going early to the turtles and you do get very near. I stroked so many then we dived off the top of Marks boat into the crystal clear water. On the way back he does stop at the shipwreck which is fantasising with the lovely arrays of coloured fish. Be careful befopre you shout shark, like me, it might be a terrapin! Everyone cleared the water pretty quickly though. Don't worry there aren't any sharks, stupid me!
The Caves ......... lovely and beautiful. stalegtites and stalegmites that piece up the crystalized formation of this out of this world enormas cave.
Bridgetown......... there is a duty free shop with lovely souvineirs and many little multi coloured shacks in a shopping area selling clothes and other things. Not really shacks clean quaint shops.
Pools - 2 large pool surrounding by rockery the first nearest the beach is used more by children and a quiet pool a few meters behind if you know what i mean . The trees and bushes make it an enjoyable 30 second walk. This pool has a waterfall and you can sit in a cave behind the wall of water to relax.
Other facilities - a large pool on enterance ...... you can ask the doorman for food and feed the many koi karp while waiting to check in.
An indoor internet room..... It has a couple of chairs and tables with a back gammon board and full chess set. The walls are all book shelves and it is airconditioned. The perfect place to com and relax in when the sun is getting too hot
Tennis courts - rackets and balls can be rented from reception at a reasonable price, it is floodlit as i advise not to play in the midday sun as you'll probably faint. i learnt that the hard way. There is cold water dispensers there at no charge and cups to prevent this as well
Kids club - to play pool or video games if the kids are getting bored with the beach and pool.
'Indoor' shelter with - table tennis for a quick game to get out of the sun and sofas to collapse onto when tierd. i say 'indoor' as it is indoor located next to the lagoona restaurant but the walls are all open as not to cook in an enclosed room.
Floating jetty - a short swim out ot. It is anchored to the sea bed within the swimming area located to the hotel. It feels like you relax on the sea. Take out floaties from the water sports shack free of charge as to not drown on the way there if you are not a strong swimmer
I absolutely great hotel. I have already been 5 times and would love to go back again. I never get bored of it! I have vistied the sandy lane but i would prefer this. It is more for families or fun lovers but not an activity holiday packed full of screaming kids. Teenagers are more common from the ages opf 10-16 are more common. There are a lot of couples there too. An amazing hotel and it has the full package.
More info - there are mosquitoes so take some 'mosquito milk' from Boots it solved my problem of sleepless nights itching!
I hope this has been of some help"
- Travel date: Sun 19th of March 2006
Loved the Colony
"I have just visited this hotel with my husband and two year old daughter for a much needed winter break. The hotel is beautiful - I cannot fault it in any way. The food was good, the staff very helpful and pleasant. We will definitely be returning!"
- Travel date: Mon 13th of March 2006
Heaven on Earth
"We stayed at the Colony Club between January 13 and 19, 2006 and had the most wonderful of times. It is expensive but then so is the rest of this island and hey, incase anyone is in doubt, this is the Caribbean so why expect North American or European norms when it comes to efficiency or speed of service??
On advise from previous reviews we booked a luxury poolside room and weren't disappointed. Though we were agrieved at having to wait until after 4.00pm before being able to check into our room, our satisfaction with the room, a complimentary bottle of champagne and a 2 hour extension on our check-out day more than compensated.
We booked room only and stocked our fridge with milk, cheese, ham, bread, butter and cereal etc. to have a leisurely breakfast each morning on our poolside patio!!! You have to remember to take plastic plates, knives and spoons but a kettle, cups and tea/coffee are provided. The nearest supermarket is in Holetown which is a good 20 minute walk!
We ate at the Colony Club on our first night and it was an excellent alfresco experience with a steel band playing gently in the background. However, there is nothing much else in the way of entertainment here but the diversions of 2nd Street in Holetown is only a $10 ride away.
The 'notorious' beach was wonderful when we were there, but it can change shape, size and slope overnight!! The painful shallow water stoney obstacles in the first few days had disappeared by the end of the week after a storm. According to staff, the sea comes over the beach during the hurricane season. There is a bank of trees at the top of the beach which gives much need shade from the sun when it gets too strong. Plenty of beach umbrellas and comfortable sunbeds too.
The staff were superb. Laid back as you would imagine, but genuinely friendly and always happy to provide your every need - yes, lunch on the beach, drinks anywhere, cold face towels, complimentary fruit or sorbet cups!!! Even the beach vendors had a charm of their own as long as you didn't disrespect them or their attempts to make a living!
All in all a wonderful place to stay if you are looking for rest and relaxation. We can't wait to go back!"
- Travel date: Sat 4th of March 2006
Disappointed in the Colony Club
"As part of a Yale-Harvard week on "Sea Cloud II" spent 1st 3 nights (January 24-26th) in room 317 which was spacious with a step down living area with a bar and a good sized terrace over looking the lagoons. Large well appointed bathroom with cheap robes and slippers. Excellent buffet breakfast, satisfactory buffet luncheon. Dinner a disaster both as to service and cuisine. Went to Sandy Lane other nights which was 5 star. Beach is shallow with swimming difficult due to many rocks and pictures of it in the Elegant Hotels brochure must either be a different property or taken many years ago. Bedrooms air conditioned but not the Laguna restaurant."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of February 2006
Nice stay at the colony
"I have noted in traveling to various Islands and Countries over the years that their 4 star rated Hotels in most cases are closer to a 21/2 and 3 star according to US standards. However, after staying at the Colony Club Hotel I can honestly say without being influenced by anyone that this hotel is listed as an elegant 4 star hotel and it lives up to its US 4 star rating with ease.
First of all I traveled with a party of eight and on arrival we all were greeted warmly with big smiles and drinks being served to us while we were checking in. The hotel was very clean. The room large and nicely decorated with tropical colors.
I could go on and on detailing all the things I like about this hotel and why it would be my first choice on my return but I don't have the time at this moment so I'll just say this: The staff, management, food, rooms, resturant, pool, beach, drinks, entertainment, hotel ground and upkeep was rated with the best that I've experienced with 4 and 5 star Hotels in the US. Anyone finding fault with this Hotel probably would not be satisfied anywhere other than the Whitehouse in Washington D.C."
- Travel date: Wed 1st of February 2006
"We stayed at the Colony Club for 7 days before Christmas. I strongly recommend this time of year because the weather was fantastic and the hotel nearly empty. As we were leaving, the Christmas crowds were arriving, but during our stay we had the place nearly to ourselves.
The room: On arrival, we were upgraded to a Luxury Pool Room. It was just fabulous - large bedroom, ultra-clean bathroom, cedar wardrobes, walls made of coral. We appreciated our private lagoon and used it more than the public pool. It was great to have a cooling dip when we came back from diving.
Service: highly variable, from barely civil to very friendly. We found much nicer people when we left the hotel.
The diving: We went scuba diving every day with Hightide Watersports, literally just next door, and some days we were the only divers. It was like having a private charter, which meant that we could get really close to the sea turtles. The dive guide even found a huge seahorse for us!
The food: Others have said it, but be prepared to pay a lot for food. The buffets were the best value- breakfast was wonderful, but we also had a barbeque lunch and one dinner buffet. Not cheap, but well worth it. But there was also free afternoon tea every day, with sandwiches and cakes followed by half-price cocktails, and the free ice cream on the beach, and the free bottles of water by the bed...We took a long taxi ride to The Fish Pot and didn't think it really worth the trip. We ate twice at Cocomo's - very friendly staff, and basic but very enjoyable food.
Activities: we took a couple of breaks from diving, and recommend both excursions. The first was an island safari in a jeep which took us off-road through sugar cane groves (very bouncy), around to the East coast of the island, and finished with a beachside lunch of flying fish and macaroni pie - and rum punch, of course. The guide had a sharp wit as well as being knowledgable about the island. We also took a snorkelling/sailing trip on a catamaran which was fun, but we were horrified to find ourselves snorkelling with about 100 people at once - 50 on our boat, and the same from another boat nearby. After the wonderful crowd-free diving, it was a shock. However, it was a beautiful trip, again with lunch and unlimited rum.
We made use of the ultra-comfortable beach chairs most days, and always found a spot under the trees. Each morning at 8 am, when we came for breakfast, we saw people 'reserving' their preferred chairs for the day - sometimes one set by the pool, and another by the beach. Life is short, folks. Chill.
I've posted some photos with this review, but there are many more on my website ----- ."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of January 2006
at the right time of year, very good
"my wife, 2 children (under 3) and i stayed at the colony club, barbados from january 9th 2006 to the 16th. I have visited over 50 countries, mostly staying in top hotels and i rate this hotel and location; however, with a caveat.
In the week we went, the clientelle was upmarket and tended to keep themselves to themselves, which is our preference; however on the last 2 days of our trip as a new group arrived (with the weekend) it was a younger distinctly less 'exclusive' crowd. Food and drink prices are high, but, they befitted the resort and the guests. Service is variable from very good to frankly slovenly, unfortunately the latter sometimes prevailed. To be fair the service is solid 4 star, definately not 5. The beach is great and allows for long walks crossing other hotel fronts and is by no means packed or tacky, but, it is by no means robinson crusoe. The rooms are fine, not breathtaking, but not too disappointing. The common parts are beautifully maintained and are of 5 star quality and design."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of January 2006
A lovely vacation
"This was my first trip to a tropical island and the first vacation I have taken with my wonderful boyfriend, so I admit that it would have been hard to disappoint me.
We arrived on January 12 and once through immigration and picking up our bags we were quickly whisked away by an excellent cabby who played fabulous music and got us quickly and safely to our hotel in about 30 min.
Once inside we were greeted by the lovely staff who gave us delish rum punch and explained the hotels facilities and procedures. After a few minutes we were shown to our room, a second floor ocean view that was recently renovated and absolutely gorgeous. Even with the doors shut you could hear the ocean waves and the tree frogs singing (it was so loud I thought it was piped in!)
The next five days went by way to quickly as we laid on the beach, kayaked, snorkeled and swam in the crystal clear water. The swimming pools were usually empty and at night, very romantic. The food was excellent, especially in the Orchid Restaurant which had the most amazing tuna entree we had ever tasted. Cocomo's and Tides restaurants in near by Holetown were also very good. Drinks at the hotel bar were well made and strong. We ordered room service twice and one time we asked for a dessert well after it was being sent to rooms and they sent it up anyway, within ten minutes of us calling! The staff was very friendly and the beach attendants (though few) were extremely helpful and interesting to talk to. We didn't find the sales people on the beach that much of a nuisance as they were usually very friendly. The beach is a bit small but we didn't find it to be a problem. The grounds are lush and very well kept.
We highly recommend renting a car and taking a drive around the Island. We went to a wonderful nature reserve were we saw lots of great local animals and even the Green Monkeys! We drove to the east coast cliffs of St. Lucy which were amazing. Getting lost and talking to the locals was our favorite part of our Sunday drive. The Bajans are wonderful, warm and very easy to converse with.
The vacation was absolutely amazing until check out when we requested the hospitality suite. We checked out around 10:00 AM and asked if we could have the suite at 2:00 PM. The receptionist said this wouldn't be a problem but at 2:00 the suite wasn't ready and by 2:15 it still wasn't ready. After vocing our concern we were finally a few minutes later brought to a room were a maid was still cleaning! We walked in and the room was still quite dirty but with no time, and after waiting 10 more minutes for the maid to give us towels, and voicing our disappointment to reception, we showered quickly and left.
Even with the check out problems it was still a wonderful vacation. The drive back to the airport was beautiful and a bit bitter sweet. We were going back to ice cold weather and city life after all! All and all would recommend the Colony Club if you are planning a holiday in Barbados."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of January 2006
A 3* family resort - disappointing when expecting more
"A lovely hotel if you are expecting a 3* family resort. A bit hard to swallow when you are paying 5* prices. Our 'luxury'poolside room had no hot water and a view of the dining room roof. The bathrooms were tired and the bath small and quite old.
I don't really see the benefit of having direct access to the small pool which was not private and appeared to be great for giving swimming lessons in - the ocean view rooms (although cheaper when we booked) - I think would be nicer. I did not go in to the pool once.
The beach was very crowded and we unintentionally felt we became part of many families ie you simply couldn't avoid the conversations, sand throwing, tantrums and tears! We checked out early (as had other people we met). Next door at the Coral Reef, for $200 more we got the top floor of a house with two terraces( one for dining, one for sunbathing) with a private plunge pool, a huge luxury bathroom with separate walk in shower and bath, a huge lovely sitting room and large bedroom - incomparable.
On the plus side for the Colony Club, the staff were lovely and very friendly. The gardens were pretty, lush and well maintained.
I doubt we will be returning to the Colony Club"
- Travel date: Sun 15th of January 2006
The Colony Club is a friendly but upmark...
"The Colony Club is a friendly but upmarket hotel. All the staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly and nothing was too much trouble during our stay.
The hotel is right on the beachfront but also has lovely if small pools. They have several entertainment sessions in their restaurant, including limbo dancing and Barbadian country dancing. There was also a steel band one night.
The food in the restaurant is fabulous.
It was safe and easy to use the local buses from right outside the hotel to get into Bridgetown and visit other attractions throughout Barbados, although a taxi ride isn't too expensive either.
The hotel has its own library and free internet connection with a couple of PCs you can you.
A brilliant restful holiday.
- Travel date: Fri 13th of January 2006
our bit of colony
"We stayed at the Colony Club this year and were treated like royalty. The staff are out-standing, were helpful and friendly all the time. Food was superb. Pina coladas scrumptious. Swimming pool was lovely and the children loved the swim bar for milk shakes and drinks. Our room was an ocean view and we were spoilt. We sat on our balcony and watched the world go by. We went on a turtle trip and swam with the turtles. We went to the carnival and listened to the bands play and had cocktails by the sea. We kayaked and we swam, we sunbathed, we had our hair braided, we sat and chatted with the locals, we just had loads of fun. We feel that we got to know a bit about Barbados. And if you are looking for exitement, go on a yellow bus. We loved it and we will definetly be back."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of December 2005